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The Scout Kindle Edition
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel. See more
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Constance and her sister Nettie are travelling to Oregon on a wagon train run by an incompetent wagonmaster. Although that is always possible, everything I've ever read speaks to the incredible experience and expertise of wagon masters of that era.
But... Nettie is a spoiled brat, not only does she not help but she whines incessantly about everything. Constance (who journals throughout the book to keep us posted) facilitates Nettie's behaviour but gripes about it and Nettie constantly in her journal! Enter Major John and Billy. The major is assigned to protect the wagon train through indian territory with his sidekick, "old " Billy who is about 40, talks constantly and speaks poorly. (His diction is constantly corrected by perfect Nettie who is 17 by the way) Major John is hurting from an experience that we don't have a clue about and is distant and fairly antisocial but dedicated to his duty. So he does his job with skill. Having met the major twice Constance decides she is in love with him. And one huggy/feely encounter convinces john that he is a "man" again and cares about Constance even if she is not the "pretty one". Several comments are made about her lack of beauty which is a turn off. Well, Nettie decides she wants (and needs to be married) to the Major and tells his superior that he got her pregnant!!..(Constance hasn't noticed the signs of the 3 month pregnant girl). John has to marry nettie or be courtmartialed even though he tells his superior (who has been his boss and friends for years) that he hasn't touched her. He honors his betrothal to Nettie by sleeping "one time for memories" with Constance. We eventually find out John has lost his wife tragically and he was determined not to love again. And that Constance would not ruin her sisters happiness, etc...so they all meet at the altar. Where with this and that, Nettie winds up married to Billy ( her senior by 20+ yrs) and Constance winds up married to john......In between this stuff there is an excellent scene about Constance getting injured and John doctoring her to save her life. But I never understood why he shot his rifle at the indian's feet instead of killing the indian before he attacked constance. That didn't figure. A lot about this book didn"t figure. If you can get around my totally biased account of this story, you'll probably enjoy it. I sure didn't. A waste of time and money.
Banning has the knack for creating believable, vibrant characters that I feel worth spending the time getting to know. I read many novels where the characters are over-the-top perfections cut from a stereotypical mold that is more reminiscent of a Hollywood blockbuster than real life.
The action was swift, the description vivid, the love story sweet and endearing and emotional. These are the things that make a great book, in my opinion.
I look forward to Banning's future releases.
Fortunately, Duquette had the sense to ask for a military escort through Indian Territory. Fort Kearney's post commandant, Colonel Butterworth sends Major John Montgomery and Billy West. It doesn't take long for the experienced military men to argue with the inexperienced Duquette.
That isn't the only tiff in the wagon train; Constance is almost worn out because she does the lion's share of the work and Nettie avoids it as much as possible. Billy is very interested in Nettie but Nettie wants John Montgomery. Soon, Constance and John fall in love. But there is other trouble, because the Indian Yellow Wolf wants Constance.
I've never known anyone who deserved the phrase, 'a piece of work' more than Nettie. She's always been pampered by her parents and now feels it is her right. Even though she knows Constance is interested in John, Nettie decides she wants him. In fact, she gets Colonel Butterworth to force John to marry her or face a court-martial.
The characters are interesting and most (except Nettie) are great to get to know. This is a pleasant story about difficult conditions; the problems keep the reader turning the pages.
The wagon train asks for help from the military stationed at Fort Kearney to escort them through Indian Territory. The post Commandant Colonel Butterworth sends Major John Montgomery and Billy West. Meanwhile Constance and John fall in love, but Nettie selfishly covets the major too. As the siblings argue over whether Nettie is pulling her weight, Billy tries to get her to see he is the one for her. However, besides understanding their deepest feelings, they must contend with Yellow Wolf who has stolen horses from the wagon train and plans to abduct the older Weldon female because of her kindness towards him.
This is an exhilarating historical romance that enables the reader to taste the hardships and dangers of the trail. The story line engages the readers from the moment that John almost gets shot by a frightened traveler. The key cast members are a delightful group to follow though Nettie's behavior will have fans wanting to smack her. Still the audience will enjoy traveling west with these intrepid souls, but will especially value the two lead couples.
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BILLY WEST - pushing forty years of age and John's trail companion for the past ten years.Read more
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